Changes in the Employment Landscape in 2024

PRemployer on March 21, 2024

Employment changes 2024

Employers must stay on the cutting edge of new laws, changing trends, and regulations—it's part of protecting your business. In the past few years, employers have already seen massive transformations that affect how (and where) work gets done, employer obligations, and workforce expectations. Those changes are expected to continue throughout the rest of 2024.

In this post, we'll quickly review these continuing trends that should shape your employment strategies to help you be ready to comply with these upcoming legal changes.

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Employment Trends in 2024

Business organizations and the workforce are still facing massive changes due to AI, remote work, and adjustments to required benefits. With so many changes happening simultaneously, it's vital to consider how your business can respond to these trends.

Here are some of the key trends that your business must stay on top of:

Companies Will Offset Costs with Creative Benefits

Competitive salaries aren't always enough to attract top talent to your business. While excellent health insurance benefits and retirement programs can help, they're often cost-prohibitive for individual SMBs to put in place. As a result, businesses are offering more creative benefits packages that appeal to modern workers, including:

  • Help with finding housing
  • Benefits programs for childcare, eldercare, and petcare
  • Tuition reimbursement

Better benefits can attract more qualified candidates and improve employee retention.

Flexibility Matters Even More

Employers must be prepared to offer flexible work options alongside these more dynamic benefits. Depending on your organizational needs, this can look like remote work, flextime that allows employees to choose their schedules or four-day work weeks. Offering flexible work hours helps you support your existing staff and can also be an appealing element that draws in more candidates.

Offering flexibility to employees demonstrates trust in them and lets your actions convey to them that you trust their capability to complete their work in a timely manner. Developing processes that allow you to accommodate your people will help you navigate these changes. Getting help from an HR partner can help guide you through this process and provide access to technology you wouldn't otherwise have.

AI Will Create More Opportunity

Since the end of 2022, AI has been an incredibly disruptive force. While many organizations still see tension and uncertainty surrounding the adoption of generative AI, it's becoming increasingly normalized. More and more roles are becoming available for professionals who can harness AI, and it will continue changing the existing roles and responsibilities across virtually every industry.

Managers Must Be Adept at Conflict Resolution

Workplace conflict will continue to be a strain on organizations. Burnout, understaffing, and economic uncertainty can all play a role in rising conflict. Today's managers will see results from focusing on developing their soft skills and conflict resolution capabilities. Managers must be ready to proactively address conflict, maintain clear communication channels across teams, and help create a work environment where everyone can be engaged and work together.

None of these trends are new, but they will continue to grow as crucial factors in the success of your business and your role as an employer. Actively creating strategies and processes to address them is vital for business continuity.

2024's Changes to Employment Laws

With those general employment trends, employers must stay ready for upcoming legal changes. Failure to comply with local, state, and federal employment regulations can financially jeopardize your company and affect your reputation as an employer. Keep these legal changes top of mind in the following months:

Wage Increases

Depending on your business's location, you may have wage increase laws coming into effect. The following states had minimum wage changes effective January 1, 2024: 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Even if you have already made the required changes to payroll operations, the former wage rates may still be present on your system defaults, job description templates, and informational resources. Florida will also see an increased minimum wage effective September 30, 2024, and Nevada's changes will take effect July 1, 2024.

Increase to the Higher Highly Compensated Employee Threshold

401(k) plans have strict standards regarding compliance and notifications. Companies must pass IRS-established tests to ensure their plans do not unfairly benefit highly compensated employees (HCEs). The threshold for what is considered an HCE is rising in 2024, with only officers making over $225,000 (compared to $215,000 for 2023) or owners making over $155,000 (compared to $150,000 for 2023) considered HCEs.

Alabama's Overtime Law Will Go into Effect 

Effective from your company's tax year starting on or after January 1, 2024, overtime pay is exempt from state income tax in Alabama. If you have full-time employees who work more than 40 hours a week, the overtime pay is excluded from gross income and state income tax calculations. However, employers must still fully report overtime hours and comply with filing requirements.

Updates to Allow More Employee Participation with OSHA

OSHA's potential new union walkaround rule is undergoing final review. Under the terms of this potential rule, employees can certify an employee representative or a union representative (even if there is no union in place) to participate in OSHA walkaround inspections on worksites. 

Navigate HR Laws With Help From a PEO

The complex laws and regulations surrounding employment, worksite safety, and HR functions are changing faster than companies can easily comply with. Partnering with a PEO can give you the support, insight, and processes you need to stay compliant with current and upcoming changes while also helping you reduce business expenses

Reach out today to learn more about the services a PEO can provide. 

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